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Andy Ellis - Senior Editor
Collings 290 DC S
The new 290 DC S features a one-piece mahogany body, a transparent nitrocellulose lacquer finish, an optional compensated, custom-machined wraparound bridge/tailpiece, and a fat-sounding Lollar P-90 with Collings' black phenolic cover (think Bakelite). To my ears, this guitar just screams “Mississippi Queen." Models start at $2950 with a hardshell case.
From Down Under comes the DVK SilverTop, a dual-function pedal that combines two psychedelic sounds—a classic overdrive and a swirling rotary-speaker effect—in one unit. Perfect for Jimi Hendrix and Robin Trower riffage, the SilverTop lets you use either effect by itself or in tandem with its mate. If you choose the latter, a handy toggle switch lets you determine which effect comes first. The overdrive takes its essential sonic cues from the classic TS-909, although DVK's designer, Brett Kingman, has voiced the pedal to produce a spectrum of sounds from clean boost to crunch. Using an optional rocker pedal, you can control the rate of the rotary effect. The SilverTop sports five knobs: Rate, Depth, Drive, Level, and Tone, independent Vibe and Overdrive stomp switches, a Classic/Vibrato switch, and the aforementioned toggle to set the order of the two effects. Street $289.
Vox Series 22
The Vox Series 22 double-cutaway has a pair of new XLM (Extra Loud Mini) humbuckers, a pickup mode switch for selecting either fat or lean tones, and Vox's brilliant aluminum MaxConnect bridge—one of the most innovative bridge designs I’ve seen in a long time. The cool yellow sunburst has a distinctly ’60s vibe, and reminds me of an old Melody Maker. Another nice touch is the SBE strap button extender on the bass horn, which lets the guitar balance nicely when you’re playing standing up. Price TBD.